With a little more than a month left until Christmas, many B2B marketers will be battling with the dilemma of whether to push to close deals with prospects ahead of the year’s end, or to wait until after the New Year. The other key consideration is how best to keep prospects “warm” during the holiday season.
As Christmas draws ever closer, there is traditionally a boom in the number of blogs and news articles that offer marketing advice for retailers on how best to maximize their profit-making potential during the fruitful festive period. While some of that advice may still be transferable or relevant to the B2B market, there is generally far less attention given to B2B, which is why we’ve put together a list of tips that B2B companies can put into practice to ensure the sales cycle is not disturbed during the holidays.
Let’s go walking in an email wonderland…
You’re a Mean One, Mr. Spam
Be aware of not just your own email frequency, but everyone else’s, too. Keep in mind that the volume of emails in people’s inbox tends to go up during the holidays, as companies attempt to take advantage of that giving feeling that takes over most of us at this time of the year.
However, in truth, as email frequency goes up, so do unsubscribe rates and spam complaints – the risk is that by suddenly increasing the number of emails you send, ISPs will start categorizing you as a spammer.
Even though you might not adjust your email strategy compared to the rest of the year, this can still affect you. One of your emails might be read at the wrong time and if it’s not deemed relevant, it might cost you. That is not to say you shouldn’t send emails, as that would be a mistake: emails nudge your way into your prospects’ consideration. Instead, make sure that your email is targeted or that it’s to an active prospect, and that it provides something of value amidst the wave of messages flooding most peoples’ inbox.
‘Tis the Season to Be Testing
Everyone gradually gets into the Christmas spirit and allows a bit more green and red in their inbox. This is the time to split-test whether including a bit of decoration in your email has any effect on your email conversions. No one says B2B emails can’t be cheery! Just don’t overdo it, as it will detract from your main message. Subtlety is key.
Have Yourself a Merry Little Prospect
Businesses with longer sales cycles need to devise a plan for the prospects whose cycles are interrupted by the holiday break. It is a reasonable assumption that people are more generous at this time of year, but be very careful not to push a deal too hard, as people may not respond well to companies trying force their hand before Christmas.
If, instead, you decide it’s more appropriate to wait until after the New Year celebrations to revisit conversations with prospects, consider how you’re going to keep those leads warm. Convince them to take your business by paying extra attention to their needs, challenges, and goals. This is the time to be targeted in your communications.
Do They Know It’s Christmas?
It might seem like an obvious point, but your clients might be relying on you. So make sure things like reduced support hours are visible on your website, not just in a one-off email.
And remember, not everyone in the world celebrates Christmas. People in the Middle East and Asia will be working hard, so let them know when you’re out of reach, and when they should expect a reply from you.
And One More Thing…
Think about whether the “Merry Christmas” email is truly appreciated – is it just another one for the trash folder because it’s so predictable? What could you do differently to make it worthwhile?
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